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Will Downtown Los Angeles Soon Look Like NY's Times Square?

LOS ANGELES ( —  Bright lights? Big City?

Could LA's downtown start to look like New York's Times Square?

Under a new law signed Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown, there is no longer a limit on the number of huge, electronic billboards that can be put up in an area.

KCAL9's Peter Daut spoke to people downtown who look forward to the light show and others who aren't getting a charge out of the idea.

Right now, there are several electronic billboards in downtown. Many near LA Live. Developers hope to soon add a whole lot more.

The billboards surely grab attention.

"They draw you in definitely," says Quincee Worrell.

"i think they're nice. and the idea of adding more would be even nicer," said Jeremy Padilla.

610 header Broadway at Times Square by Night
(credit: istockphoto)

He will soon have his wish.

Daut reports a lot more could be coming.

A controversial bill allows developers to install several electronic billboards around the $1 billion Metropolis high-rise project.. as long as the city allows them.

The goal is to help revitalize downtown by giving financial incentives to developers.

The billboards could provide extra money to make developments more profitable.

"I think it's a good thing. I'd love to see all the lights and it will look really nice," says Elizabeth Castillo.

The measure was opposed by people who worry the lights will bring too much action -- another Times Square. They worry the lights could pose a dangerous distraction for drivers on nearby streets and the 110 Freeway.

"It does cause a lot of traffic,I've noticed, and it's very frustrating," Worrell said.

And though not everyone's on board, many say it's just a sign of the times. They argue drivers are already distracted.

"I mean, you're distracted by using the phone anyway. you don't see much of a difference," said Luis Perez.

Lawmakers who support the bill say they hope the billboards will make LA more of a world city and help create thousands of jobs -- again, the city has the final say on any signage.

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